Indian Governors are only in news whenever there is some controversy – with allegations of working on the behest of the Union Government to destabilize democratically elected state governments. They are again in focus with the Supreme Court invalidating the Governor’s action in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Supreme Court, in a first, has dismissed a government in Arunachal Pradesh that was formed by the Congress rebels and had already proved its majority in the assembly floor test – and has reinstated the Nabam Tuki government of the Congress party, the leading political outfit of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the predecessor of the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Delhi.
There is a norm that when the Union Governments change, they install their own people as the state Governors to keep a tab on many things – to keep a check – and to act when it matters – when there is a chance (like in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh).
The NDA government, led by Narendra Modi, had its inaugural in May 2014. And in the first two years, it has already changed Governors in 20 states. The Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, though a UPA appointee, is now seen as a BJP man while Kiran Bedi, the Delhi L-G, was the BJP’s CM candidate in the 2015 Delhi assembly polls. Najeeb Jung, a Muslim face, is a logical choice to handle the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi that is always in a combative mood and acts like it is some sworn BJP enemy.
So far, the BJP has appointed 17 Governors in 20 states. Three Governors have been the additional charge of three states for the time being – in Assam, Manipur and Punjab.
Nine states still have Governors appointed by the UPA.
Some of them are completing their terms this year and some the next year. And none of these states have a BJP government. Yes, the party in alliance in two states – in Andhra Pradesh (TDP) and in J&K (PDP) – but the Governors of both of these states are retired bureaucrats and working with bureaucrats is always easy than with politicians.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who has the additional charge of Telangana, is completing his term next year. He is a former IPS officer and IB Director. N.N. Vohra, who is J&K’s Governor since 2008, is a former Union Home and Defence Secretary.
Tamil Nadu and Odisha have strong non-BJP state governments with strong chief ministers and the BJP would not like to have adventures here. K Rosaiah, a Congress man and the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, was appointed Tamil Nadu’s Governor in August 2011 while S.C. Jamir, a former Congress chief minister of Nagaland is Odisha’s Governor since March 2013.
Ram Naresh Yadav, the controversial Madhya Pradesh Governor, is an old Janata Party name though he contested his last election on a Congress ticket. As a Janata Party MLA, he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979.
K. K. Paul who was shifted from Mizoram to Uttarakhand in January 2015, is again a UPA appointee. He was appointed by the UPA Government as the Meghalaya Governor in July 2013. He is a retired IPS officer and the former Delhi Police Commissioner.
Governors of Mizoram and Sikkim, electorally unimportant states, have former Indian government officials as their Governors. Mizoram’s Nirbhay Sharma, who has been transferred from Arunachal Pradesh, is a retired Indian Army official while Sikkim’s Shriniwas Patil, though an NCP MP, is a retired bureaucrat. Also, these two peaceful north-east states don’t have governments, either of the BJP or any of its ally.